Leslie Singer the founder of the Singer Team with Brown Harris Steven’s in New York discusses how she started her career in real estate. Leslie talks about the strategies she used for attracting clients in the beginning of her career. Leslie also discusses the mistakes she sees agents make that can be avoided and how she handles the problems that come in any transaction at some point. Next, Leslie focuses on the importance of previewing a property before going in with the client. Leslie joined TikTok recently and describes how she’s using the platform for her business. Last, Leslie discusses how she’s feeling about and approaching 2023.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Leslie Singer can be reached at 917-860-8128 and email@example.com.
This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks and FollowUpBoss.
D.J. Paris 0:00
Would you like to attract more clients in 2023? Of course you would. Well, today we’re going to talk to a top 1% producer on exactly how she does it. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. There agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I’m your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment we’re going to be speaking with Top New York City agent, Lesley singer. But before we get to Lesley, just a couple of quick reminders I am asking for two favors this episode, but they promised I’ll only take you a minute total for both. So number one, if you could whatever podcast app, you might be listening to the show right now, if you could leave us a review that would greatly we’d greatly appreciate it. It helps us continue to improve and also learn what you like. So please do that. And we would really appreciate it. And also the second thing is just tell a friend think of one other realtor that is struggling right now and guess what most agents are it’s a tough year. Let’s help them as much as this podcast is hopefully helping you and send them a link over to our show so you can send them to our website keeping it real pod.com Every episode can be streamed from any browser or if the person you’re referring over to us is a podcast listener just have them pull up any podcast app search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. Alright guys, thank you for continuing to listen and support our show. And now on to the main event my conversation with Leslie singer.
Today on the show yeah blessing singer with the Center team with Brown Harris Stevens in New York City. Let me tell you more about Lesley. Now Leslie is an award winning broker and has consistently been one of Brown Harris Stevens top performers leading a team that has repeatedly been number one in sales for the firm. She has also earned a reputation as one of the most approachable and loyal representatives in the industry. Leslie’s track record of success is a function of her exceptional negotiation skills, tailored marketing solutions and an innate ability to help clients navigate the complex New York real estate market. Her honors include winning the Real Estate Board of New York deal of the Year Award, also being acknowledged as one of the top women in real estate by New York real estate journal, and being recognized as one of the top real estate teams nationwide by The Wall Street Journal. Born and bred in New York City Leslie’s informed sophisticated sensibilities in her MBA background guide the team in preparing for transitions and transactions, discerning value and return on investment. Now I want everybody to open up Instagram and Tiktok and I want you to follow Leslie and her team. It’s the same username for both it is singer team NYC that’s si n g R. So singer team NYC both Instagram and Tiktok. And we will have a link to those in our show notes. You can click on those and follow because Leslie is doing some really really cool stuff. Enter team on social especially on tick tock which you just got into which we can talk about too. Anyway. Leslie, welcome to the show.
Leslie Singer 4:38
Oh my god, thank you for having me. But now I all of a sudden I got nervous because those accolades. I mean, now I have to live up to them.
D.J. Paris 4:46
That’s true. There’s a lot of pressure to deliver. You don’t I’m gonna say this at the beginning because I since I just really I’m so impressed with with what you’ve done and I usually leave this to the end and then I realized Not everybody makes it to the end. So before we actually start the interview, I mean, it’s funny, I’ve been doing this five years, if you think it would have occurred to me sooner, but I guess better late Better late than ever. But if you are an agent in New York City, and you are shopping around for maybe a new team, a new firm, maybe you think you could be a good asset to Lesley and her team, reach out to them and let her have a conversation, and maybe you could be a possible good fit for, for the singer team. So anyway, just wanted to throw that out there first.
Leslie Singer 5:33
Except now they’re now they need to listen to see if they actually want to do that. So I know
D.J. Paris 5:37
they’re gonna want to work with you, I assure you, you are a big, big, big deal. And, and that’s the other thing, too, is, is definitely, you know, we’re, that’s why we’re so excited to have you on the show. But let’s say I would love to start. So what I don’t really know is how you got started, because I know you’re this big, big success now. But everyone starts somewhere. And I would love to hear about how and why you got into real estate.
Leslie Singer 6:03
Um, so I’ll try and make it a shorter story than but it was actually really interesting. My background is marketing. And I was the vice president of marketing for American movie classics, I had the dream job, truly a dream job. But I was flying all over the place. And I ended up with these two little kids that like immediately, they’re 17 months apart. And I couldn’t be flying around the world and having two little little ones at home. So I tried really, really, really strategized about what my next steps were. And it was really hard to come to this decision. But I was like, huh, I have a marketing background, very, very strong marketing background, I have an MBA, so I can do board packages, and I love finances. And I grew up in Manhattan, I know it like the back of my hand. And if I were to go into real estate, I wouldn’t be traveling. So I took the MBA, and I took the marketing background, my knowledge in Manhattan, and triangulate it on real estate. So it was a very thoughtful and strategic decision for anyone that’s starting out. And so that’s how I came into the idea of real estate. And it was really, truly for those reasons. And for anyone who’s starting in real estate, I talked to a lot of firms when I was thinking about, you know, starting my career, and every firm has a very different corporate culture, and a very different way of proceeding. And so it was really fascinating. And not only does each firm have a different corporate culture, but even within a firm, certain offices, within the same firm even have a different corporate culture. So I interviewed with a lot of different firms. And the other thing I will say is having a mentor when you start is really, really, really important. So I met with someone at Brown Harris Stevens, I met with a manager, again, interviewed with a lot of different firms, but came upon some manager at Brown Harris Stevens who said, huh, I got a call, it was someone who was looking for an assistant who would bring me on and we would kind of did a handshake. But certain certain arrangements were made That I would cover all weekends, open houses, just to start and get the mentoring. And we said we would try it for six months, and six months turned into 18 years on a handshake. And everything was just above board. And it was a you know, again, for me to learn but within six months and kind of like became more of a partnership. And I really brought my marketing background to the to the whole process and marketed ourselves branded ourselves. And it was it was a it’s great. So
D.J. Paris 9:13
well, before I go I go into sort of how you got started. And with that, because I think in particular that marketing background is so incredibly useful for agents when they get well at any point in their career. But certainly when they get started, I was gonna say with AMC, I just going back to American movie classics. I always I worship the the the lists. I’m thinking of American Film Institute. Okay, American, different. Sorry. I’m thinking of AFI who puts those lists together so so I was getting confused. But But yeah, American film classes Yeah. Big. Your AMC I’m sorry, AMC. Yes. But yeah, I’m a big God I love I love American movie classics, as well as the brand that they’ve built is impressive.
Leslie Singer 9:56
But it was at Time Warner I was at an ad agent Let’s see, I’m gonna really, I just, I loved what he did. But I have to say, I’m equally passionate that I get to do and it’s a privilege to get to do what I do every day.
D.J. Paris 10:11
And I imagine you get to sort of scratch the creative itch as well. Because when you get to be in full control of your branding, your marketing, your, your messaging, so does that sort of satisfy the part of you that loves being creative, and,
Leslie Singer 10:26
oh, that but I also have to say, every deal and no two deals are alike, and you have to be creative in this industry. And think outside the box, a if you’re promoting a property, how to differentiate, but also when it comes to a board package, and someone’s financials, and I’m not saying you have to be creative with their financials, but every deal has some sort of creative component of how to make the candidate the strongest possible presentation, etc. So I get creativity. And there’s a lot of creativity in how I handle my clients. But we can we can get into that, too now, or we can get into it later.
D.J. Paris 11:09
But yeah, let’s jump into it. Now, I’d love to hear about sort of how you approach clients. Well, first, actually, no, let’s back up, I want to first find out about attracting clients. Because even though you’ve been doing this for a long time now and a really impressive career, everyone, everyone gets started with really no clients. And so I’m curious, how did you when you first started 18 years ago, what were your strategies? I imagine you had some sort of sphere of influence, because you live but New York is so transient that I don’t know how much that helps. But you did grew up there. So I’m curious. Yeah.
Leslie Singer 11:45
So I mean, interestingly enough, when you’re first starting out, and yes, it was really important that I had a strong mentor behind me, which could show that there was someone with extreme knowledge and a track record as well. And then honestly, the brown hair Stevens brand. So those are definitely great things to have in my back pocket. But you don’t always want or nor do your friends want to work with a newbie, right?
D.J. Paris 12:11
When they’re buying a million dollar home. Just got her license a week ago.
Leslie Singer 12:15
Exactly. And nor do they always want to show their finances to you. Right. That’s, that’s,
D.J. Paris 12:21
you know, it is I’m sorry to interrupt. But that is something that nobody really has ever seen. We’ve done 430 episodes. And just that little piece that you said about, I’ve had lots of guests say, Well, I didn’t want to work with my friends, because I was afraid I would screw things up, or I was afraid to ask for their business. But the one thing I never thought about was what you just said, which is, I don’t know what my friends earn. I don’t, I’ve never asked them I was taught not to ask. And I was taught that any discussion of that was either considered brat braggadocious or being rude. So, so yes, so that’s really interesting. So that’s a really strong point. So you had these people, but maybe you didn’t feel so comfortable asking for business?
Leslie Singer 13:04
Yeah, no, I mean, absolutely. And look, and again, being that I had someone in my, you know, like, as almost a partnership in the beginning, I could offer that should they want to work with me, not only do they have the knowledge behind and the security of that, but then he could review their finances but even that, like felt it just, you know, I understand their their hesitation. But what I did do is in my little sphere of influence was I actually started like, the old fashioned way. And I kind of went to 10 of my really, really good friends. And I asked each of them for 10 names of people that I could contact just to start my own database. So you know, that’s okay, only 100 people, but then those 10 people so almost like, you know, those what are they like mail chain things that used to get? So that was one thing I did and I started a newsletter, which was something that my mentor had been doing, but there was always a column that was singer says, and it kind of talked about, like the New York school system or you know, those type of things that were New York based truly New York that showed that you had an insider in for like influence on Manhattan, and we would mail the buildings newsletters, and said,
D.J. Paris 14:28
that’s interested you just you would just blank it
Leslie Singer 14:32
blank and the part of my working at Time Warner was direct marketing. So I was like, Let’s do direct marketing. Let’s do a newsletter, let’s you know and people held on to those newsletters. It was pretty great. So that was one a couple of things. To think about,
D.J. Paris 14:51
can I pause? I’m going to tell you something that that’s gonna that’s not going to surprise you but also surprise you at the same time. because, well, so I moved into a new a new development a year and a half ago. And it’s a nice building, there’s 40 units, a townhome. There’s a few townhomes. There’s but but it’s it’s a, it’s a nice building and brand new development. Now, obviously all of us who have purchased probably not leaving any immediate time soon, but in a year and a half. So we’re talking about sending out mailers trying to establish your brand. At some point, all of us are probably going to move it’s at some point, it’s it’s, it’s, it would be unlikely that at our building people with lived there for 40 or 50 years, although we could, but it’s unlikely. So because of the neighborhood that we’re in, and it’s it’s just one of those younger neighborhoods. Not one piece of mail from any realtor, just saying, hey, you know, like, obviously, that would be a long term play, they’re probably like, well, if I’m going to start mailing, I’m going to be needing to mail for the next five to seven years. But why not? And And what’s amazing is not one piece of mail from any realtor in the last year and a half. And I don’t think it’s because people know that I’m in the business. I just think nobody’s thought to do this. So I think even that’s kind of a lost art these days. And there’s so much opportunity. So I just wanted to mention that three.
Leslie Singer 16:17
Yeah, and I think people are cutting back on mailing, right, because we have social media, we have everything else. But it is a really great way to cut through the clutter. And when I do a new listing, I’m mailed the neighborhood, book, and I mail the building as well, because people who love your building like you, you may not be ready to sell but you you may know someone who wants to buy there, because you love the building, and they come to visit you. So like it’s just another way to keep yourself top of mind.
D.J. Paris 16:48
You also said something else. And I apologize for like interrupting you every few moments using something that at first I sort of was like, I didn’t understand it. And then as you were talking it made sense. And I and this is such a this is no no, this is a thing nobody else has said either. Which was. So there used to be this old sales technique at the closing table, or whether you’re selling a car or I was or whatever the old salesman 101 was like, by the way, I’d like the name of three of your friends. Now that nobody likes that, right? We all are like, Yeah, but what you did was much smarter, and definitely works and isn’t uncomfortable, which is you go to your your friends, and you say, Hey, I’m starting my business. I’m not obviously, you know, if you know someone who wants to buy or sell, obviously, I’d love to talk to him. But I would just love to get to introduce to some of your friends. And basically, that’s what you were asking. And that’s just called networking. And I just want to make, I just want to make sure that anyone listening, that is a really smart strategy, because your friends are the ones that want you to succeed. And you’re not asking them to like, you know, you’re not really asking them for
Leslie Singer 17:57
a sale, you’re not asking. Like, who do you think would be really good for me to reach out to and talk to now it’s brilliant.
D.J. Paris 18:05
It’s brilliant. And I know if somebody asked me, I mean, it’s such a simple thing. But no, really people don’t do this very often. I don’t think if somebody if one of my friends were to say I’m starting this XYZ business, whatever it is, hey, could you give me some names of people that might in the future? Maybe be a candidate for me? I just want to put them on my list or reach out? I wouldn’t hesitate. And I’d be like, of course, I will like no big deal. Yeah. Asking asking a client at the closing table. That one feels more uncomfortable.
Leslie Singer 18:37
Yeah, definitely. I agree.
D.J. Paris 18:39
I just wanted to honor you for a couple of those. Those. Really, really, it’s always the small things, right? Like, people say things on the show. And and all of a sudden, like they just kind of go past it because they don’t realize how how important I think that isn’t I’ll be like, Oh, stop stop you just so you’ve done that a several times. So I promise to not interrupt as much anymore. No, I appreciate
Leslie Singer 19:00
that. Um, the other thing was, I noticed this happened. When my when my children were in nursery school. And we were applying for kindergarten, a lot of my parents would talk to me because I grew up in Manhattan, about the different schools and I only went to one or two of them, right. But they would ask me and I had a general knowledge of the school system. And I was like, Huh, why don’t I give back and this is in my first year of real estate, why don’t I give back to the community and by hosting seminars about the school system. And so we would I would have a getting into kindergarten school panel and getting into Nursery School, which is a huge thing in Manhattan. I would have these panel discussions and I would bring in not only parents but guidance counselors. And yes, they have come from nursery school. Yes, they haven’t for kindergarten. But it was my way to give back to the community with also the self serving idea that these people will be making a decision shortly, once they know where their child is getting into school as to where they want to live. Since then,
D.J. Paris 20:18
I love that and here in Chicago, I don’t know, you know, I’m not a parent myself. So I don’t know if those exist. I have not. I’ve heard of Realtors doing. So you want to buy a condo, so you want to buy a first home? Those those seminars happen? Those are pretty common. I’ve not heard about school, and that is every new parents sort of biggest one of their biggest issues is where if especially in a big city, where’s my child going to go to school? Where are the safe areas? What are the best, you know, academics, etc. That’s really
Leslie Singer 20:52
now now I do it through college, because that’s kind of as my kids got older, and I had more knowledge, and we still we do college seminars as well. And I have to say, it’s fun for me, it shows how old I am. But there are clients that I helped with the nursery that I’ve also helped with the college. I mean, isn’t that incredible? Yeah. Yeah, the way through? Yeah. Well, I,
D.J. Paris 21:17
my sister and I both went to Miami University out in Ohio, Miami of Ohio. And then my sister ended up in New York City, they actually have a pretty strong alumni. You know, contingency there in New York, which, which is surprising. Whenever I met people in Ohio that went to Miami, or from New York, I was like, how did you find out about, you know, this, this, this really, we shouldn’t be in Florida. We’re in the middle of Ohio. And, and, yeah, but anyway, um, that’s, that isn’t me. So you still do that as you still do. You’re just, if you go all the way you still do all the way from nursery school up there.
Leslie Singer 21:53
Really, we’ve been really focused more on the college because again, you know, it’s a life cycle. And it’s really nice way to give back. And, you know, eventually, people will think about, hmm, you know, my home is larger than I need, right as they go off to college. So
D.J. Paris 22:13
we’ll just even just even planning for college with 529 plans, and the financial part of it is is so daunting, and so scary for new parents, that it’s something that they have to start thinking about pretty much right away. Yeah. In your Yeah, yeah. In utero. It’s, yeah, I Yes. My, my one nephew is five. And so he’s got some time, but my, my sister’s all they’ve already figured it all out. And it’s already all figured out. And I was like, good for them. Yeah. Yeah. But so so that that is a really smart strategy, because you again, you are giving back you’re contributing, you’re providing value. And then oh, by the way, I’m also a realtor so
Leslie Singer 23:02
well, you know, in my mind, finding the perfect fit for school is very similar to finding a perfect fit for your family in a building. And the application process of a applying for these schools is not that different. Of course, you’re not showing all your financials, but you still have an application process for getting into school, you have an application process for, you know, a co op. So there was so many similarities, but again, it wasn’t, it was a nice way for me to give back with a minor ask, right. So it felt good.
D.J. Paris 23:38
So you bring in you said, you bring in guidance counselor’s? Do you ever bring in representatives from the schools themselves?
Leslie Singer 23:44
I have done that. And I’ve done parents, so you have a really, really nice range of people. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 23:51
that is such a great idea. I love that.
Leslie Singer 23:55
Wow, I think it’s really important. I think it’s really important to really think about what’s authentic and genuine to you with whatever you do because people will they they can feel it they can sense it. And it’s really where you’re you’re coming from the most honest place and I think it’s great for connecting so I would say to anyone starting out think about what’s really authentic and genuine to you and follow that so that you know those those workplaces for me that felt
D.J. Paris 24:34
Yeah, it makes makes all the sense in the world. I also want to go back to this idea of open houses because I feel like that too. Is so easily like Yeah, yeah, yeah, sit open houses, but it’s not it may be it doesn’t sound very exciting to talk about. But I will say that almost every guest I’ve had on and I only really interviewed top 1% producers, they all love and they all started doing and open houses for other agents and learning how to talk to clients as they walk in and out how to, you know, understanding how to have conversations about real estate, how to talk to clients understanding their needs, how important was it for you to do a lot of those reps sort of going to the gym, almost have open houses? How critical is that for you?
Leslie Singer 25:21
So for me, those weekend open houses, where I took over our listings and had the open houses, those were really, really, really critical. And I will tell anyone, even if you are representing a property, you should have a no inside and out all the other competitive properties. Because when you get someone at that open house, and you say to them, because it’s really critical question, does this work for you? And he’s like, Nah, you know what this or that, and then you can say, this may not work for you. But how about this, I think you should look at this, man make an appointment for you. So know your competition, and turn that person if they’re, if you’re not, they’re not going to be the buyer for your property, turn them into a buyer for another property. It’s it’s a art and it’s a great opportunity. So yes, those open houses were really, really, really important. The other thing is when other brokers are holding open houses, go to as many open houses as possible and learn the market, whether it’s a one bedroom, a studio, a two bedroom, a five bedroom, because inevitably, you’ll be at a cocktail party, and you’ll be oh, you know, oh, you’re interested on the, you know, the Upper East Side, I saw this great two bedroom the other day, right? Like, it just get to know the market. And it doesn’t matter. I mean, I’ve been doing this for so many years, and I still go to open houses so I can see what’s out there.
D.J. Paris 26:54
And also to, it’s great, I don’t love the word networking, because I just feel like that I don’t even know it and always what that means, but this idea of going to these broker open houses, allows you to interact with other realtors. And there’s a real practical reason to do this even other than just being fun and friendly and nice.
Leslie Singer 27:15
In the market, and you you learn that, you know, when I’m talking to other brokers, and I’m going to the open house, inevitably, there’s a discussion of like, you know, what are you seeing, you know, how, you know, how are you finding the market, this is what I’m experiencing? And there’s also the great discussion of, hey, I’m bringing this on, do you know anyone? Or, you know, I, someone doesn’t want to list this, but they’re thinking about listing it, would you have any, I mean, there are so many dialogues that are important. Plus, just to have your face out there,
D.J. Paris 27:51
of course, well, and I imagined to like, during the pandemic, for example, when what once once the, the sort of pandemic was subsiding. And, and people, you know, the interest rates were so low and everyone was trying to buy, I imagine it doesn’t hurt to go into an open house, you know, at some point, introducing yourself to the other agent, making nice with them developing some sort of friendship or relationship, professional friendship with them, probably doesn’t hurt them, when they see out of the 30 offers they just received, when they see a friendly a name that they recognize, like, I know this, this woman, she’s awesome. I met her at an open house, she seems great. It probably doesn’t hurt at getting a little bit more attention on that offer.
Leslie Singer 28:35
Now, you’re absolutely right about that. I’m working on a transaction right now. And the offer was accepted. Honestly, probably a good six to eight weeks ago of which we still haven’t gotten to contract. And I represent the purchaser and the broker on the other side is like, Thank God, it’s you. Thank God, it’s you. I know we’re gonna get there. Yeah. Because she said, you know, never my 40 years have I experienced this, but like, you know, so to your point, making, making contact, making connections, just as someone when a deal comes together, they have a name and a face and they feel good about it is really, truly important. So I am
D.J. Paris 29:23
I’m curious too, because you’ve been in this industry almost 20 years, you’ve seen a lot of agents come and go you’ve seen as you’ve been building your your business and your team, what are some of the mistakes that you see agents making as they are trying to build their business or, and there’s so many mistakes that that agents make. But what we tried to do on the show is help agents avoid some of those pitfalls. So is there anything that comes to mind? I mean, aside from like, not working hard enough. Yes, that’s usually the main reason I find that people tend to exit the industry. Um, but it isn’t always that. And sometimes people just make, you know, decisions that they could have made differently. So is there anything that that you sort of see agents, you know, any mistakes that agents make, that really they that could be avoided, anything that comes to mind,
Leslie Singer 30:16
I’m gonna have to think about this for a second mistakes. I think sometimes when you’re young and you’re hungry, you want the deal more than you. Like, you know, you want it too much, and you lose sight of your client, and you push for a deal. And I think a lot gets lost there. And your relationships are so important that you can’t want the deal more than your own client. And, you know, deals are going to come and go, and they’re going to come together, they’re going to fall apart or whatever. But making sure that your client feels really attended to throughout. So really spending that time and not thinking of it as just like a one deal. And then you’re on to the next because you you build your business by clients referring to you or coming back to you. And don’t make something like a one trick pony. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 31:17
that’s really, really good advice. And I’m curious to F with the amount of time and the number of deals that you have done? How important is it to anticipate your client’s needs? Or their mental state? And I don’t mean, you know, whether they’re sane or insane. I mean, their their anxiety, their fear, fears, their their joy, that? How critical is it to be able to manage those expectations and those emotions for your clients? Because I know, every time I’ve purchased and sold a property, something always goes wrong, there’s always a moment where I’m like, well, something’s going on, this is all falling apart, this is all going to be a big disaster. And then, then, you know, it isn’t. But the stress of that is real. And I’m curious about how you help your clients through those difficult, you know, moments of a transaction?
Leslie Singer 32:14
Well, so there’s, I mean, you bring up a really, really important point, which is a every deal has a moment, every single, every single deal has a moment. Like there’s you know, and you never know when it’s gonna happen, but it’s kind of like when it happens, you’re like, oh, here it is. And you you, you work through it, I try to the best of my ability, ability to always handle all those moments without including my client. So I try I take on the stress, and try and navigate to get to the right answer without having to stress them out and only go to them at those really critical moments that I’m like, I can’t do it without, you know, including them. But I do think you spend time with the client upfront. And, you know, just in your dialogue of getting to know them of is this a life transition? Right? So you come into people’s lives, whether they’re having getting married, having a baby, you know, it’s their first time purchase, some are getting divorced, sometimes it’s death. Sometimes it’s an estate sale and getting to know a, what their objectives are, where they are in their lifecycle, and understanding that will help you navigate with them. And listening throughout the entire process. You’ll get to sense whether this is someone who makes a really quick decision. This is someone who needs more hand holding, this is someone who needs to see 25 properties, they only need to see five, you know, so it’s a lot of listening, there’s a lot of hand holding. And there are times when you’re a therapist, right? Because you’re dealing with someone’s largest asset. They’ve exposed everything. You know, they’ve told their life story and aboard package, they’ve shown all their financials, they’re extremely anxious, they started envisioning themselves in the property. You know, and for whatever their reason is for their transition that comes to play so and there for sellers, that’s a really emotional time. They may have, they may have, you know, brought up their whole family there and they’re selling because they don’t need that family home anymore. But it’s still emotional, even if they’re excited about where they’re going. It’s still emotional, or you know, if it’s a death or whatever, divorce so, yes, a transitions and getting to know your client, but I really, there are a couple things I do which is I try and understand that client really well in the beginning and I listen. But I really respect someone It’s time. So I try my, if I’m working with a buyer, I try and identify, before we even go out five to 10 properties that I think are going to be a perfect fit. I lined those five properties up in a row, get a car and driver, so I only take them out of their day to day for maybe an hour and a half to two hours. And then we can kind of have a conversation after that, like, what worked, what didn’t work. And then I can refine the search that much more, but I’m always sensitive to someone’s time.
D.J. Paris 35:34
Can I ask about doing showings? This is such a simple question. Everybody does them differently. Do you visit the properties before your client?
Leslie Singer 35:44
I love previewing. I love to preview a property A, it allows me to eliminate if I don’t think it if it’s going to be appropriate, but be when I get to that property. And I think it is the right fit. Because I’ve previewed it, it not only gives me ability to be comfortable in the showing, but I have a lot of knowledge. And I can point out to my client, you know, the things that I know are, you know, important priorities for them. So whether it’s closet space, or whatever it may be. I know that that’s important to them, and I can help highlight it. So I love previewing.
D.J. Paris 36:26
So whenever possible preview, in my opinion,
Leslie Singer 36:29
yes, it takes extra time, but it’s so worth it. And that property that you see that you’re previewing may not be right for the client you had in mind. But I promise you somewhere in the next kind of like discussions you’re having all of a sudden, and it could be three weeks later, and that property, hopefully still on the market, you’re like, Oh, my God, the property that I saw for seven, so that wasn’t right is totally right for someone else. There’s, there’s no wasted time. It works.
D.J. Paris 36:59
I guess what we’re really talking about is learning the inventory. I mean, as simple as it sounds. And inventory is of course always changing. But this idea of being a master of the inventory is really, so it’s so critical. It’s not, hey, I’m gonna go on this journey with you. And we’re gonna walk into this home together and check it out. It’s I’m gonna go on the journey. First, I’m going to check everything out so that I can bring back and, you know, it’s it’s a simple thing, but I don’t know that most agents even preview properties, I think they a lot of them show up with their client. And, you know, and that is, it’s, that’s really not the it’s just my opinion, but it’s not really the best client experience that way, I believe. Yeah, I
Leslie Singer 37:44
think you know, I think, look, everybody has a different you know, a different way of handling their business. Again, it gives me the confidence walking in that I feel like it is really right, I can show it better, even though I’m not the show or you know, the listing agent might be the shower. But again, just as you said, getting to know the inventory is just so critical.
D.J. Paris 38:08
I wouldn’t I want to go ahead. I’m
Leslie Singer 38:10
sorry. No, no, I just recently there was a home that I had previewed, I thought it was absolutely like the perfect fit. Brought the couple, the wife looks at me. And she’s like, Oh my god, I love this. I love this. But there was something in the husband’s face that I was like, Huh. And I came back to her a couple days later. And I said, Look, you know, I sent you this listing. And you said you weren’t interested in seeing it for the following reasons. But I noticed your husband’s reaction. And I actually think this will appeal to him more. And she was like, hmm, okay, let’s go. And that’s the one they bought. Yeah. So it’s like, just, you know, you have to also be present when you’re showing, yes,
D.J. Paris 38:58
you have to pay it pay attention. And it’s actually a so and that probably being that the, the physical space isn’t new to you at that. Yeah. Because you’ve already previewed it, you now can focus your attention on their reaction versus what’s actually going around visually. Exactly. That’s an important tip. And so maybe that’s even the best reason of all to preview is, is well, there’s lots of great reasons to learn the property,
Leslie Singer 39:31
it allows you to really be watching. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 39:35
you know, you’re so right, because I know for me, any shiny object, you know, captures my attention. And so if I’m walking in somewhere, for the first time, I’m looking around and seeing everything visually, and of course, that’s what the client is going to be doing and you’re really watching them. Watch instead of you know, being taken in yourself by everything and that is, again, it’s it’s a simple thing, but not every realtor thinks about that and And that is really it. We’re talking about professionalism, I think and being professional. And that is such a such a great idea. So thank you for that. And another question. I wanted to switch gears a little bit because you were telling me just before we got on, Leslie, Leslie and I were talking about I am so jealous because I live in Chicago and we are the second city. And, and New York is, you know, probably the first city of ADD, so I’m, I live in a very wonderful place, but I’m so jealous because New York is such a lovely place. And we were talking about all things New York. I want to pause for a moment to talk about our episode sponsor are one of my favorite companies out there follow up boss. Now after interviewing hundreds of top Realtors in the country for this podcast. Do you know which CRM is used by more than any other by our guests. Of course it is a follow up boss and let’s face it, following up is the key to taking your business to the next level. Follow up boss will help you drive more leads in less time and with less effort. Do not take my word for it. Robert slack who runs the number one team in the US uses follow up boss and he has built a one and a half billion dollar business in just six years. Follow up boss integrates with over 250 systems so you can keep your current tools and lead sources. Also, the best part they have seven day a week support so you’ll get the help that you need when you need it and get this follow up boss is so sure that you’re going to love their CRM that for a limited time, they’re offering keeping it real listeners a 30 day free trial which is twice as much time as they give everyone else and oh yeah, no credit card required. So you can try it risk free but only if you use this special link visit follow up boss.com forward slash reel that’s follow up boss.com forward slash reel for your free 30 day trial. Follow up like a boss with follow up boss. And now back to our episode. But you were telling me that you just recently had some success on social media with Tik Tok. And, you know, this is really interesting because I’ve been doing the show for five years. And no one’s tock tick tock yet. And I’m not I’m not asking you to, to, to, you know, give away any secrets or any but we are starting to see Realtors now embrace tick tock which is being used, of course by you know, the demographic of Tik Tok users are skews younger. And so I’m curious on what you’re doing there, and what sort of results you’re seeing because you just had a big success there.
Leslie Singer 42:38
Yeah. Um, so I’ve been doing Instagram, you know, obviously for quite a while now. And I have a team that helps and supports me and I kept saying I think we really need to be on tick tock think we really need to be on tick tock. And they’re like, Yeah, you know, it’s new. And I’m like, so I’m, I’m maybe even be late to the game. Because I keep I was harping on this, but we really only started a couple of weeks ago. And again, I’m doing things that are truly, truly genuine to me, and really comfortable for me. Usually around the property, you know, it’s around properties. Although, as I mentioned to you, I just happen to do one around hot chocolate because I do like to bring in a little bit of lifestyle and like things that are popping up in Manhattan, that could be useful tidbits. But they’re usually centered around a property that I’m promoting, and just having a ton of fun with it. But like, you know, again, it’s really, really new to me, and this one particular video went viral and we have like now 270,000 hits on it and like, okay, so and I’ll just share with you that my son who’s 25 He’s like, Hey, Mom, my friends are loving you on Tik Tok and they say, you’re so you’re so professional. Hey, Mom, I didn’t even know you were on Tik Tok. And he goes I don’t have tick tock
D.J. Paris 44:08
Hey, Mom, stay out of my friends tiktoks
Leslie Singer 44:12
I wasn’t there watching they’re following me and wasn’t like,
D.J. Paris 44:16
but isn’t that amazing? If you put out good quality content or fun content, entertaining content, whatever it might be, it can you know, we do have ways you know, we do have the opportunity now with technology where where things can can spread and and it’s all about value. And so I imagine tick tock is an as well as Instagram is fun for you. Because with your marketing background, you get to really project what I am. I’m curious too, about how you stay in touch with clients in between there, their sales, right, so somebody buys a co op there. Maybe they’re gonna live there for X number of years. How are you? Staying in touch with them in between.
Leslie Singer 45:02
Yeah, so that’s always a really hard thing, because you’re really, really busy with your day to day. So I do do a monthly newsletter. And sometimes it’s not, you know, as frequent. Sometimes it’s more frequent if it’s important, but I definitely do a monthly newsletter. I really love my clients, like I really, really love my clients. So fortunately, that means having coffee with them having a lunch, you know, having a drink. And it may not be as you know, sometimes you can do it more frequently. everyone’s schedules really, really busy, but your clients sometimes become your really good friends sometimes, you know, as I said, some are with me forever and repeat business. And then it’s little things like just reaching out and following up, you know, how are you enjoying your apartment love to see, I’d love to drop by, you know. And then I do every now and then I don’t do holiday gifts, because they get lost in the clutter. But I will pick a different time of year to do a gift, and do a mailing of a gift. So and it could be you know, Gears we’ve did champagne, it’s just another way of just saying, you know, thinking of you. And usually for the first year, when someone buys from me, they’ll get like wine of the month. So each month or depending on who they are. Maybe it’s flowers each month. So each month, there’s like a little and I can write the notes to them. So each like January, a different note for me, like, you know, each month for that first year they’re hearing for me,
D.J. Paris 46:42
ya know, they love that. I also just because this was you, it’s pulled back the curtain a little bit about how we book our show. We send questions to our guests, and I never ever get to the questions. But there was one that one response that you gave that I just thought was so cute. And I really wanted to you to share us this story this year that you were named the mayor of by a client so so I don’t want to give away the the punch line. But do you mind sharing the story? Because this is this is such a great, great holiday story?
Leslie Singer 47:18
Well, it’s just so you know, to be the mayor of something right? You should be actually really quite charming. And when a client of yours says you’re like the mayor, it’s like, oh, it should be really, really flattering. But this was a client that definitely wish we had identified the Upper East Side, which I know like the back of my hand. No really, really, really well. But he’s like, you’re the mayor of no foo. And I’m like, Mayor of no foo like, what, what is no foo and he’s like, it’s the Upper East Side. Leslie, you’re the mayor of no foo. And I’m like, What is no foo? And he said, no fun. And I’m like, Oh my god.
D.J. Paris 48:02
So you’re the you’re the mayor of the no fun part of New York.
Leslie Singer 48:06
And again, it wasn’t because I’m not no fun. But he was like nervous that the Upper East Side had this reputation of not being fun and that people always went downtown to have fun. So yes, I was I was named the mayor of no Fu and I got such a kick out.
D.J. Paris 48:26
That is that is that is amazing. So curious how you’ve seen like, for 20. So by the time this will be released, it will be in January? We’re actually recording it here in December 2023. You know, you’ve been you’ve been through several market cycles. You were you went through the crash of awaits. And at just 2023 Do you have any fear about 2023? How are you? How are you approaching?
Leslie Singer 48:59
I mean, not not only have I been through the crash, right, but the pandemic. You know, like, and I did not leave the city I was here for my clients, I did not leave and I had clients who would call me during the pandemic and they say, what is happening on West 79th street and I’m like, You know what, let me go over there. And I’ll go running over because the Lucerne had given over their hotel to the whatever. But you know, news can news media can make things sound that much worse. And so boots on the ground. But Anyway, point being I’ve been through so many different cycles that I think you really need to just be confident that people do need to move right there are always going to be circumstances and you need to figure out in any given market what the advantage is. So we had low interest rates and there was a time minute moment where the market kind of dropped right, but only like eight to 10%, even during the pandemic, but if you had the guts to buy, then, you know, that was a brilliant time. So 2023, we’re kind of looking at the first half of the year potentially being difficult. Maybe a couple more price increases, but I think, you know, interest rate increases, but I think people have already experienced that and have the knowledge and we’re looking at a really strong second half of the year. That’s my prediction. So if you can work with your clients, at a time, when the first half of the year, people are nervous, there are opportunities. So that’s a great time to negotiate. And there’s a great saying, date, the rate, marry the home. So if someone is, you know, nervous about interest rates, you can change your interest rate later. But if you find that home you love and you need to finance, just know that that’s a possibility. So I think you know, you just, it has to be business as usual, you have to know your market, you have to know your comps. And think about the opportunities, because you may the first half of the year, like find that there are people that are still a little bit nervous and willing to negotiate a bit more. So yeah,
D.J. Paris 51:27
there is negotiation, it happens now, it didn’t, didn’t happen.
Leslie Singer 51:32
No, I mean, there was, you know, just a year ago or whatever, you could walk around the block, and you had to make a decision. Right. So
D.J. Paris 51:42
do you have any buyers that are feeling remorse? That oh, gosh, when interest rates were at 3%? I should have pulled the trigger? Do you have to counsel people through that? You know, because again, yes. And rates prices were also super inflated, you were competing against many other buyers? And you’re going to probably pay more? So I’m just curious on Yeah,
Leslie Singer 52:11
so now that’s where that’s where you kind of have to, you know, help them understand that because you know, you’re getting that property at, you know, a better value. So yes, you may be paying more on your monthly for your mortgage, but that same property a year ago, you wouldn’t be able to negotiate on. So there’s always that and that is why kind of the date, the rate is also gives people confidence that you know what, maybe I can change it later. But historically, we are still at really low interest rates.
D.J. Paris 52:47
I know like really, really low and yeah, really, really low. Really, really low. It’s not freakout everybody. We’re not double digits, we’re not.
Leslie Singer 52:58
Exactly. And the other thing is New York, you know, not for everyone. But we’re a very cash driven city. So we have a lot of cash deals that have always happened, that will continue to happen. Bonuses may not be as strong as other years, but bonuses get paid. So you know, you have to look at Manhattan, look at the concrete things that happen. And our market continues. I’m not, I’m not concerned.
D.J. Paris 53:30
Good. Well, that that is very reassuring to our audience. And to me as well, because I have not been in it for 18 years, and haven’t weathered all of the cycles and storms that you have. But I’m glad to hear that you are not particularly worried about 2023. And that that will help call.
Leslie Singer 53:52
There’s too much discussion about recession of first half and then pulling out really fast. So in a V. Going right back.
D.J. Paris 54:01
Yeah, well, we’ll certainly hope for the best. Leslie, I am so happy that you spent time with us today you are a real treasure. And for anyone out there who is an agent who either has clients who moved to New York City, who would want to refer business to it, maybe you don’t practice in New York, Lesley would love the opportunity to connect with you. Of course many people have properties in the New York City area. So if you’re an agent in another part of the country, and you want to refer business out and get in touch with Lesley, she would love to chat with you. And also, if you’re an agent in New York City and you’re looking to join a really super successful team under Leslie’s leadership, you might be a good fit for her or they might be a good fit for you. So let’s see if, if another agent wants to reach out to you what’s the best way that they should do that?
Leslie Singer 54:55
I think email is actually really great. So I would AE l singer at BHS usa.com. And I can repeat that. It’s l singer at B H s usa.com.
D.J. Paris 55:13
And we’ll have a link to that in our show notes as well. Leslie is is a superstar agent in New York City. We are so excited that she spent the last hour here with us. And we want to thank her on behalf of our audience. So on behalf of the audience, Leslie, we say thank you for spending your time we know busy well and also on behalf that you’re welcome. And on behalf of Lesley and myself we also say thank you to our audience, to continuing to support and listen to our episodes. Best way that you can help us grow every one is just tell a friend think of one other realtor that needs to hear this episode this conversation with Lesley. Oh my god she gave like five incredible tips in this episode that can really help transform someone’s business. Send them a link to this episode. They need to hear it people who everyone is stressed about 2023 Leslie’s not. And she explained why and she gave a lot of great suggestions about how to handle 2023 So send this podcast episode over to another realtor that is struggling right now. And Leslie thank you so much for being on our show. We are so grateful to have you and we will see everybody on oh I’m sorry everybody go follow Lesley as well on Instagram and Tiktok singer team NYC singer team NYC and si ng er we will have links to those they are doing some really cool stuff on social definitely check them out. Leslie it was a such a pleasure having you on the show.
Leslie Singer 56:48
Likewise, thank you for having me.
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